State v. J.P.S. (In re J.P.)

In State v. J.P.S. (In re J.P.), 921 P.2d 1012 (Utah Ct. App. 1996), the court of appeals adopted a liberalized version of this rule 59(a)(4) requirement for certain juvenile court proceedings. In that case, the juvenile court declined to terminate parental rights at a termination hearing. Id. at 1015. Eleven days later, the State learned that the foster parents, who did not testify at the hearing, were willing to adopt the children. Id. at 1016. The State sought a new hearing under rule 59(a)(4), but the juvenile court denied the motion. Id. The court of appeals reversed, finding that the juvenile court had abused its discretion in denying the new hearing. Id. at 1018. In so holding, the court of appeals reasoned that nothing prevented the State from simply refiling its application to terminate the parental rights with the additional information about the foster parent's willingness to adopt. Id. Accordingly, the court of appeals concluded that "allowing a liberal application of Rule 59 seems a more efficient remedy." Id.